Nina Davis Is On A Mission
One day after she was named to the 2015 USA Basketball Women’s World University Games team, along with 11 other collegiate athletes, five-foot-11, guard Nina Davis landed in Maceio, Brazil.
As a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Baylor University, Davis participated in a sports ministry mission.
“As soon as I left trials I went out to Brazil for a mission trip,” said Davis. “In Brazil it was all athletes. They liked to work out more than I do, so they didn’t let me slack off a lot. They had me doing beach workouts and things that I would have never done on my own. So even though I was in Brazil doing mission work, I did a lot of working out in Brazil as well.”
Though taken out of her comfort zone, Davis was grateful to be surrounded by athletes, who continued to motivate and support her.
“Just being around athletes helps you in general. You have other athletes around you that like to do things that you like to do. You have that athlete that you can call and say ‘hey come workout with me.’ You need friends like that to help keep you motivated and going.”
Back At BU, where she averaged 21.1 points and 8.3 assist in helping the Bears to a 33-4 record, including a NCAA Elite Eight appearance as a sophomore in 2014-15, Davis’s preparations for training camp continued.
“I worked out with my trainer a lot,” Davis said of her training at her university. “I did a lot of running and things like that because I knew coming out here that I would be playing with 12 of the best players in the country. I know once we go overseas to play against teams like China and Russia, those are some of the best players in their country, so I did a lot of working out to be prepared.”
Now back at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Davis is excited to be amongst her teammates who will travel to Gwangju, South Korea, to compete in the 2015 World University Games.
“It has been great, just being around these girls has been a wonderful setting,” Davis explained. “I am so excited to play with them. I know that they are going to push me to the highest level. I won’t have time to slack off. I won’t have time to walk. If you walk, your man is on the other end getting a layup or shooting a 3. You have no time to slack off, which will make you better.“
As a member of the World University Games team, Davis wants to help her team in any way that she can.
“I don’t have a set role,” Davis commented. “I will be anything that my team needs. I think everyone knows that they took 12 of the best players in the country so each one of us is the best player on our team. We are the scorers on our team. We are the motivation. We are the leader on our team. But once they put us all together that role changes. If my team needs me to score, get the key rebound, or be the defensive stopper; whatever it takes to get the gold, I am willing to do.”
The team will continue practice in Colorado Springs before departing for South Korea, where it will compete in Group B along with China, Czech Republic and Italy in the preliminary round.
“I am ecstatic to be with these girls. This will be something that I remember for the rest of my life. This opportunity does not come often; it is only 12 of us from the country. I know so many other people that would kill to be here, we are blessed to have this opportunity to play for USA, to represent our country.”
Ultimately, Davis wants to win a gold medal for the U.S., but she is focused on embracing the opportunity.
“It was a surreal feeling. Growing up as an athlete, I have always had a dream of playing on the USA team, to represent my country. To wear USA across my chest was something that I always wanted. When I found out that I was like ‘oh my God. I am so blessed.’ I was excited and ready to come here.
“I have thought about that (playing for a gold medal), but you have to take it one day at a time, one game at a time. The end goal is a goal medal. We are not going to win bronze. We are not going to win silver. We are going to bring back a gold medal. If we have the opportunity to play in the championship game, if we win the goal medal it will be something I will remember for the rest of my life.”